Regulation of Natural Resources Located in Indigenous Communities Territory under the Principles of Consultation and Free, Prior-Informed Consent: Perspectives in Selected Countries

Regulation of Natural Resources Located in Indigenous Communities Territory under the Principles of Consultation and Free, Prior-Informed Consent: Perspectives in Selected Countries
John S. Ombella
African Journal of International and Comparative Law, November 2021; 29(4)
Abstract
Natural resources have long been said to be under the sovereign ownership of the states in whose borders they are found. Sovereignty grants such a state not only the ownership but also the power to regulate their access and use. States’ inability to convert the resources into tangible socio-economic development has witnessed massive contractual agreements with multinational companies to harness the same. Multinational companies and state contractual arrangements seem to have ignored other potential stakeholders like communities dependent on natural resources for their survival. Consequently, communities such as those of indigenous peoples who depend on available natural resources like rivers, lakes, forests and other ecological resources are victimised in the state-multinational contractual arrangements and implementation. Internationally, principles such as consultation and free and prior-informed consent seem to regulate access and use of resources located in indigenous communities. This article shows how such principles guarantee the indigenous communities their existence in cases of large-scale development in their territory.

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